If you asked for the honest truth, Natalia would be forced to admit that the conversation being had was flying right over her head. It wasn't that she wasn't paying attention-because she always paid attention (okay, so maybe it wasn't her that always paid attention). But when one was being bombarded with terms such as "chrysippus," "cerastes," and "amphisbaena"-terms that one had yet to hear before-one is bound to question the legitimacy of such conversation and become very confused. Which is exactly what Natalia was.
Of course, this wasn't the first time Natalia had ever been confused because of one of these conversations. It was a very common occurrence, actually. So common that Natalia had grown used to confusion and had accepted that she'd likely be perpetually confused due to the occasional emergence of the insensitive side she had years of proof existed within her two normally-sweet best friends.
Some days, these friends of hers forgot all about how they'd signed up for a Mythology course that Natalia hadn't. Some days, they'd spend hours upon hours ranting and raving about-what was to her-absolute nonsense because they couldn't be bothered to explain to Natalia the finer details-or even some of the broader details-of whatever it was they learned in class.
And that was only some of the proof Natalia had collected of their insensitive sides.
Occasionally, Natalia believed that they thought her to be mentally indestructible, what with the amount of pain they unwittingly put her through. Nonetheless, Natalia looked past most of these times and forgave them both, because she knew they didn't know better-she'd never told them how much their comments hurt-and because they were the kindest people out of all her peers, usually. Still, there were the unforgivable moments when they refused to accept one of the most fundamental parts of her. Indeed, they often teamed up with her mother and attempted to change this part of her. Every one of those times had led to weeks and weeks of the silent treatment to all involved.
So what was this "fundamental part" of her that rocked the foundations of their friendship? Why, the voices.
For as long as Natalia had known, she'd been kept company by two voices that seemed to make all the best decisions in her life so she never failed anything important. Natalia knew very well that this was not normal, but she was not ashamed of her voices one bit. On the contrary, she was proud to have them and often talked her part of their conversations out loud, to the consternation of those around her. Her mother and best friends felt particularly embarrassed over this trait and attempted to rid her of it time and time again-every attempt failed and left them shunned every time.
The voices, however, only showed when they wanted to, or felt that it was necessary they interfere. Now, apparently, was not one of those times, and so Natalia was left bored and confused, on the brink of insanity as both of her friends continued to forget her presence. Or was she already insane? That called for some thought…
After a few seconds of thought, she finally heard some things she understood-"Apollo," "Zeus," and "Hermes"! So they were talking about Greek mythology, then! Natalia's ears perked up with interest until she realized they were still on about nonsense. Well, not nonsense, per say, as it made sense, but it was still maddeningly boring in the eyes-ears?-of Natalia. They were talking about playboys. Natalia had always hated gossip, and, unsurprisingly, the fact that it was mythological gossip had no affect on that particular hatred.
Natalia wondered somewhat absentmindedly whether or not she should pretend as if she were talking to her voices simply to regain her friends' attention. At the moment, awkward stares and hypno-therapist suggestions would be more tolerable than this damned gossip.
A rather selfish thought, spoke a feminine voice inside her mind. Ah, Natalia thought mildly. Finally, you come to cure my boredom. Where have you been for the past forever and a day?
As was usual, the voice ignored her and continued on with what it had obviously intended to say. You should never abuse us in such a mocking way-to garner attention. We are here to help you, not to spoil you.
Not for the first time, the condescending tone of this particular voice, mixed with the infrequent implication that the voices were not from her conscious-or even subconscious-mind made Natalia wish the voice had a corporal form so she could smack it. Hard.
Violence is not the answer, pet.
Natalia forced her mind not to conjure up an insult in reply. At least this voice was here, unlike some-
Don't finish that thought, interrupted her other, somewhat masculine voice. I am simply avoiding the wrath.
Whose wrath? Natalia mentally snorted in disbelief. Predictably, the voice ignored her and instead found a new way to "maintain the peace" as it was so fond of doing. It did this by making a suggestion.
How about you research some of the mythology they're studying so you won't be left out so much next time?
A very logical suggestion.
Now, why has that thought not been voiced for the semester and a half that her friends had been taking the class? Natalia dutifully ignored the jab in the first voice's response (We wanted you to figure this out, pet.) and thought over the idea.
As her two best friends went from giggling over the "conquests" of the Gods to complaining about how "damned many things" Hermes was God of, Natalia conceded that the idea was extraordinarily tempting, and that she might give it a try and just hope that she could avoid the gossip part of the conversation.
Of course you're going to do it, pet. You always do what we tell you to.
"I resent that," Natalia mumbled under her breath.